Sparked by a rise in respiratory problems in Carlisle, the Clean Air Board (CAB) was established in 2005 by a group of community members who were interested in monitoring the air quality in the Cumberland Valley and educating the community on the human health impacts of this air quality.
The Clean Air Board has since worked on a series of projects to better the air quality in Carlisle. They began with school bus idling because of its intimate impact on Carlisle children, teachers, and bus drivers.
Next, the CAB worked to pass a state law which regulates truck idling. Prior to the passage of this law, thousands of trucks idled overnight every night in Middlesex County alone. The law states that trucks cannot idle for more than five minutes in any part of Pennsylvania. Although enforcement has proven to be an issue, this law does improve the air quality, and thus the livability, of the greater Carlisle area.
The Clean Air Board works with the Sentinel to release the information collected by their air quality monitor in real time on The Sentinel website.
The CAB runs an education project in conjunction with the EPA called the School Flag Program. Participating schools raise an air quality flag each day when they raise the American flag and the Pennsylvania flag. This serves to alert parents and community members of the air quality every day.